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Cool, a steam traction electric engine. Now mount that traction engine on a big flat car and wire it directly to the lgb so you can run it at any live steam track.
 

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David,
Your setup has provided us with a whole new aspect of this hobby to think of. And thanks to Bruce for the stellar idea of a stationary steam engine on a flat car driving a generator that in turn drives an electric something or other. What a neat contraption it will make.
 

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I hesitate to say this because I sure would like the video to be true... but I don't believe that the steam engine/motor-generator combo is providing power to the toy train. The steam engine just does not seem to me to be "loaded" at all and not running fast enough to be supplying power to the train. I wish there was some way to prove me wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hi,
Thanks for all the comments! Let me clarify a few things:
- This is not a fake: the tractor is driving the generator which is in turn powering the track.
- The tractor did not break a sweat (well it's a figure of speech, it did boil a lot of water and spew condensate all over). I can ride behind this tractor, so running a small, lightweight locomotive is not a big deal. The locomotive was still moving with only 20PSI left long after the burner ran out of gas.
- The locomotive speed and direction follows that of the tractor. The generator outputs DC, so reversing its direction reverses the track's polarity which reverses the locomotive.
- I'm not sure that it would be possible to have a self propelled setup that would move at anything but a snail's pace... I guess there is only one way to find out ;-)
 

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- I'm not sure that it would be possible to have a self propelled setup that would move at anything but a snail's pace...


why not?
lets say you take the tractor and mount it on a flatcar, with the generator..
then, instead of having the generator leads go to the track, you simply have them go directly to the electric motor in the LGB engine..
same concept as if you had a battery car..the LGB engine will then pull the tractor behind it.

then, wouldnt the engine run just as fast as it is in the video?
everything would be the same, you are simply taking the "track power" out of the equation..
yes, you would have some extra weight, by pulling the tractor..but I dont think that would slow down the locomotive much at all..
especially with good bearings on the flat car..

very cool idea!
I love it! :)

Scot
 

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Posted By Semper Vaporo on 10/25/2008 10:51 AM
I hesitate to say this because I sure would like the video to be true... but I don't believe that the steam engine/motor-generator combo is providing power to the toy train. The steam engine just does not seem to me to be "loaded" at all and not running fast enough to be supplying power to the train. I wish there was some way to prove me wrong.

--Why not?

The generator produces a constant 12v and the engine runs on a constant 12vdc or less (I believe 3v is needed to start a load on the motor), an LGB Saintz does not draw that much for amperage as it has one relatively small motor, and the only axillary functions are lights and maybe a smoke unit, all running off of voltage regulators that draw the same 12v.
Depending on the reduction ratio of the flywheel of the tractor when compared to the pulley on the generator little force may have to be exerted to produce enough work to spin the shaft. I do not know if this style of generator is brushless or not, but if it is, then you could easily spin it up with a tiny wilesco engine.


The tractor is labored, not running out it's wits, and clearly shows the load when the throttle is opened and closed, allowing the momentum to catch up and place load on the belts.

Good idea David, I like it alot...brings a new meaning to live steam!


-ryan
 

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I wonder who'll be showing a track-capable version at DH?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Posted By csinc on 10/30/2008 6:37 PM
Could you post the maker and model of the electric motor you used?
 
-Adam



Hi Adam,
I bought this generator second hand at the NSS last year. It was built from a set of castings that came with the electric parts of some unknown DC motor... I wish I could be more helpful but I just don't have the information...


If you have an old cordless tool (drill, screwdriver, hand held vaccum etc.), you might want to try taking it appart and use its motor as a generator. I guess my generator uses similar components. A large RC car motor should also work as they are basicaly the same. 
 

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Yes, very cool set up!! I thought one of the wada units used a steam turbine to turn a generator for the power?

This looks similiar to the generator you're using, but not sure if its the same:
http://cgi.ebay.com/LIVE-STEAM-ELECTRIC-DYNAMO-MACHINED-KIT_W0QQitemZ380073237197QQihZ025QQcategoryZ152913QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

I got into live diesel/electric early last year with a Wada GP9, and this is pretty much the same concept, obviously powered by a differnt engine source. I was actually considering building a unit like this, where a steam engine would spin a generator (as this would be much quiter then a nitro motor!) but never got into it. The biggest difference would be finding a generator (or motor) that will meet your requirements based upon the rpms needed to produce the voltage/amperage needed as your output. Not sure how fast a steam engine will turn this, but the nitro motors go from 2,000 to 10,000 rpm with plenty of power (the wada generator will output over 30 volts no load maxed out). You can hear and feel the extra pressure on the nitro motor cranking on start up as the traction motors need more juice to get going and can actually stall it out if you're not carefull.

Bob Pope posted a video sometime back of a nitro motor spinning a generator connected to the track to power a GP40.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Rw9HF1-JOo

Fun stuff!!
-Ray
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Posted By ConrailRay on 10/31/2008 7:10 PM
Yes, very cool set up!! I thought one of the wada units used a steam turbine to turn a generator for the power?

This looks similiar to the generator you're using, but not sure if its the same:
http://cgi.ebay.com/LIVE-STEAM-ELECTRIC-DYNAMO-MACHINED-KIT_W0QQitemZ380073237197QQihZ025QQcategoryZ152913QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

I got into live diesel/electric early last year with a Wada GP9, and this is pretty much the same concept, obviously powered by a differnt engine source. I was actually considering building a unit like this, where a steam engine would spin a generator (as this would be much quiter then a nitro motor!) but never got into it. The biggest difference would be finding a generator (or motor) that will meet your requirements based upon the rpms needed to produce the voltage/amperage needed as your output. Not sure how fast a steam engine will turn this, but the nitro motors go from 2,000 to 10,000 rpm with plenty of power (the wada generator will output over 30 volts no load maxed out). You can hear and feel the extra pressure on the nitro motor cranking on start up as the traction motors need more juice to get going and can actually stall it out if you're not carefull.

Bob Pope posted a video sometime back of a nitro motor spinning a generator connected to the track to power a GP40.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Rw9HF1-JOo

Fun stuff!!
-Ray

Hi Ray,
Yes that's the generator. The trick using the tractor to power it is to put the belt on the large diameter flywheel to drive the small pulley attached to the generator. This means that although the steam engine is running relatively slowly (compared to a nitro engine), the genrator spins quite fast...
 
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